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A research platform using active local cooling directed at minimizing the blood flow in human fingers

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3 Author(s)
Steckel, J. ; Centre for Healthcare Technol., Univ. of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium ; Goethijn, F. ; De Bruyne, G.

Patients undergoing chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer often suffer from deterioration of extremities, such as neuropathy and onycholysis, a condition which leads to the partial detachment of the nail from the nail bed. To prevent these deterioration, cryotherapy is often used during the application of chemotherapy by means of e.g. frozen gel gloves or socks or ice baths. While effective, current cryotherapy is often unpleasant and unpractical for the patients involved such that the therapy is not accepted by a significant part of the patients involved. Furthermore, the classical cryotherapies leave little room for researching the underlying prevention mechanism through active control of the applied temperatures. A crucial step is to direct applied temperatures at minimizing the blood flow for it is widely assumed that the efficacy of the therapy lies in local vasoconstriction induced by the applied cooling, limiting the blood flow to the fingers. This paper proposes a platform which allows researchers to investigate the effect of controlled cooling on the blood flow in fingers and nail bed on blood circulation at extremities. Preliminary results indicate that local cooling indeed can invoke local vasoconstriction, resulting in a decreased blood flow measured using Laser-Doppler flowmetry.

Published in:

Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth), 2013 7th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-8 May 2013

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